Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Rob Lowe and the Lost Boys

I've been listening to Rob Lowe's life story lately and I have to say that it's pretty damned interesting. I mean, this guy grew up in Malibu in the same neigbourhood as Charlie Sheen and Emilio Estevez while their dad Martin jumped out of bushes, on Halloween night, with a baseball bat and scared kids.

His first real cinematic break came in the movie 'The Outsiders' - an adaptation by Francis Ford Coppola of S.E. Hinton's famous book. He was almost done with acting when he was given a call-back for The Outsiders and showed up at a sound stage with Emilio Estevez, C. Thomas Howell, 20 some other teen actors and a very young Tom Cruise.

Little did I know that 'the Lost Boys' (a movie made about disappearing teenagers that turn into vampires starring Corey Haim, Corey Feldman and Kiefer Sutherland) was a real thing in Malibu because teenagers actually disappeared. Lowe speaks of high school friends who were found in garages disemboweled by shotguns and drowned with their girlfriends while diving for lobsters and a kayaking couple eaten by a great white shark in Paradise Cove.

It was a real time and a raw time for the budding actor who was trying to make his way through faith, life and a greater grasp of the cosmos.

I idealize his words when I hear them because as a young gaffer, I watched a lot of movies. At times, I dreamed that Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and Arnold Schwarzeneger were my friends. I wanted the spotlight that they had - bright, un-waning and expedient. I wanted a chance for my creative vibe to shine. But as a Canadian kid with little connections, I would bide my time and let the players play.

To be an actor, or to be famous creatively, there is a lot of sacrifice. The sacrifice, however, comes in the form of betraying all that you hold dear and always looking out for number one. Lowe puts it ever so eloquently in his somber, reminiscent words that sum up the era of his teens.

"Underneath the glorious exuberance and the counter-culture ethos, the fantastical weather and dream-like beauty, Malibu's malignant undercurrents were a danger to adults as well...Why was hideous and untimely death so co-mingled in the experience that was Malibu in the mid 70's? There were drugs which weren't as understood as they are today. There were also the wild and the rough nature of the personalities Mailbu attracted. But more importantly, there was a price to be paid for a culture that idealizes the relentless pursuit of self.

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